Most new theme park attractions these days are created based popular film franchises and other imaginative fantasy worlds. But Six Flags Great Adventure’s newest roller coaster pulls from actual local folklore, offering riders a chance to feel what it’s like to ride alongside the infamous Jersey Devil.
By Ricky Brigante
Legend has it that the Jersey Devil has haunted the vast Pinelands of New Jersey for centuries, with modern-day folklore placing the beast dangerously close to the Great Adventure park’s Great Lake, with its curled horns appearing under the glow of a full moon. Drawing from this urban legend, Six Flags debuts the new Jersey Devil coaster – a ride that’s just as uniquely stealthy as its namesake inspiration.
“Jersey Devil folklore has been a source of fear and intrigue here in the Pine Barrens for more than 200 years. We’ll immerse riders in this iconic piece of New Jersey history on our monstrous, new scream machine,” said John Winkler, park president. “Jersey Devil Coaster is the perfect addition to our unrivaled collection of award-winning, innovative, and thrilling roller coasters.”
After passing through an elaborately-themed entrance portal, riders can learn the lore of the Jersey Devil through a series of storyboards outside the ride, preparing riders to take a good hard look at the nearby lake as they rise to the peak of the 130-foot-tall lift hill.
Even if the actual Jersey Devil isn’t spotted, it’s hard to miss the larger-than-life statue of him in the queue — a perfect photo op for those who dare enter.
The Jersey Devil ride itself is a wonderful addition to Six Flags Great Adventure’s legendary lineup of roller coasters, which includes the world’s tallest coaster Kingda Ka. But the Jersey Devil coaster stands out in a big way, with its sprawling 3,000 feet of orange track held up by a surprisingly small number of support beams. That’s because its unique single-rail track is stronger than most traditional tracks, according to Six Flags engineer Michael Reitz, allowing designers more freedom to bend and flex the track’s layout in unique ways.
The track also creates a spectacular vantage point for riders, who hop aboard the coaster car to sit low in a single file line, ensuring every passenger has a great view throughout the ride. The cars hold 12 riders with the giant grinning face of the Jersey Devil as the 13th passenger leading the way.
Topping out at speeds just shy of 60mph, the intensity of the Jersey Devil coaster varies throughout the ride, initially offering big thrills following the 130-foot ascent to the top. Though the ride has three inversions and an 87-degree first drop, it’s an incredibly smooth and rewarding ride for almost any rider thanks to the single-rail, I-beam track. Other highlights worth mentioning are a 180-degree stall, a raven dive, and a zero-gravity roll.
This coaster is by no means the most thrilling in the park (Kingda Ka still reigns supreme there) nor is it the most ferocious (the Batman coaster might just win that battle) – but it’s not meant to be either. Instead, the Jersey Devil offers a perfect balance between incredibly exciting moments and fun twists, turns, and hills.
Also new to the park is the Jersey Devil BBQ, serving up legitimately excellent pulled pork, brisket, and other BBQ goodies.
The Jersey Devil coaster is now open at Six Flags Great Adventure. More information can be found at SixFlags.com/GreatAdventure. You can check out our video report as well as a rider cam below: